Are you guilty of any of the following email marketing crimes?
- emailing your list once a month or less (the horror!)
- burying your signup box on your site – you don’t know what to send anyway (oops!)
- having three people on your email list – your mom, your BFF and and your significant other (sad!)
The #1 Idea for Turning Website Visitors Into Subscribers: Creating an Awesome Opt-In “Bribe”
Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are great tools for expanding your reach through social networking. But building a big list of friends and followers is an early step in customer engagement not the final destination. One of the goals of your social media strategy should be to drive potential clients back to your site where they can subscribe to your email list. Having a live list of prospects looking for the solutions you deliver is a goldmine. It’s the number one way to convert browsers into buyers.
You can build your list offline by inviting those you meet at networking events to join your list. (Notice I said invite. It is NEVER a good move to add people to your email list simply because you collected their business cards from an event). In the online world, the best way to entice potential prospects to give you the gift of their email address is offering them an awesome, relevant, valuable FREEBIE for “opting-in” to your list.
It’s simple: Find out what answers or information your visitors are hungry for and give it to them. But only give it to them once they opt-in to your list. How do you know what they want?
- Ask them! Create a survey or poll on your blog asking what they’ll looking for.
- Look through your most popular blog posts. That should give you some indication of what they want from you.
- Check out the competition. Browse other popular sites in your niche. See what they’re offering and you’ll generate ideas for creating something similar – in your own style of course.
For example, we have two give-aways we offer to readers in exchange for opting-in to our email list:
- 12 Steps for Starting a Business Without Quitting Your Day Job, and
- 10 Ways to Find Your Next Client.
The 12-Step Blueprint is aimed at those looking for a plan on how they can launch their business while working full-time or part-time. And the other offer is for those who have started a business but struggling with getting client.
So how can you ask for the opt-in on your website?
Splash Page: A popular website opt-in format is to have a page that serves as a ‘gate’ to your site. In other words, create a splash page or squeeze page that doesn’t allow access to the rest of your site until they pass over their name and email. This method works if what you have behind Door #1 is worth the visitor handing over their personal info. It converts well because it’s the only option – they sign up or they leave. (A compromise is to have a link on your splash page that gives them the option to enter your site and bypass the opt-in form, which is a great approach.)
Popups: Despite their bad reputation, popups are still alive and effective because they actually work. Just use your popups for good and not evil! One such non-offensive popup is the exit popup. Give visitors one more chance to opt-in to your list or receive a download before they leave. Be sure to test to see which offers get the best sign-up rate.
On Your Site Pages: If people are finding you through a search engine, more likely than not they’ll come in through a blog post or sub-page deep within your site, rather than the “front door” home page. By including a sign-up form on every page of your site, you can capture people where they are.
Within Your Content: One of the most effective on-site list-building methods is to include very relevant calls to action within the content itself. Just add a simple invitation to subscribe to your email list at the end of the post or withing your actual post content.
There you have it. Four ways to ask your visitors to become subscribers.
Your assignment: Choose one and implement it! Don’t just read – DO.
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